Inhibition of Pediatric Glioblastoma Tumor Growth by the Anti-Cancer Agent OKN-007 in Orthotopic Mouse Xenografts

PLoS One. 2015 Aug 6;10(8):e0134276. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0134276. eCollection 2015.


Pediatric glioblastomas (pGBM), although rare, are one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in children, with tumors essentially refractory to existing treatments. Here, we describe the use of conventional and advanced in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to assess a novel orthotopic xenograft pGBM mouse (IC-3752GBM patient-derived culture) model, and to monitor the effects of the anti-cancer agent OKN-007 as an inhibitor of pGBM tumor growth. Immunohistochemistry support data is also presented for cell proliferation and tumor growth signaling. OKN-007 was found to significantly decrease tumor volumes (p<0.05) and increase animal survival (p<0.05) in all OKN-007-treated mice compared to untreated animals. In a responsive cohort of treated animals, OKN-007 was able to significantly decrease tumor volumes (p<0.0001), increase survival (p<0.001), and increase diffusion (p<0.01) and perfusion rates (p<0.05). OKN-007 also significantly reduced lipid tumor metabolism in responsive animals [(Lip1.3 and Lip0.9)-to-creatine ratio (p<0.05)], as well as significantly decrease tumor cell proliferation (p<0.05) and microvessel density (p<0.05). Furthermore, in relationship to the PDGFRα pathway, OKN-007 was able to significantly decrease SULF2 (p<0.05) and PDGFR-α (platelet-derived growth factor receptor-α) (p<0.05) immunoexpression, and significantly increase decorin expression (p<0.05) in responsive mice. This study indicates that OKN-007 may be an effective anti-cancer agent for some patients with pGBMs by inhibiting cell proliferation and angiogenesis, possibly via the PDGFRα pathway, and could be considered as an additional therapy for pediatric brain tumor patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / toxicity
  • Benzenesulfonates / therapeutic use*
  • Benzenesulfonates / toxicity
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Brain Neoplasms / mortality
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Child
  • Decorin / metabolism
  • Glioblastoma / drug therapy*
  • Glioblastoma / mortality
  • Glioblastoma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Imines / therapeutic use*
  • Imines / toxicity
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Receptor, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor alpha / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Sulfatases / metabolism
  • Survival Rate
  • Transplantation, Heterologous
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Benzenesulfonates
  • Decorin
  • Imines
  • OKN 007
  • Receptor, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor alpha
  • Sulf2 protein, mouse
  • Sulfatases